The Wire

Season 2 Episode 5

Undertow

5
Aired Sunday 9:00 PM Jun 29, 2003 on HBO
9.0
out of 10
User Rating
173 votes
1

EPISODE REVIEWS
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Episode Summary

EDIT
"They used to make steel there, no?" - Spiros Vondas

Ziggy's inability to move a package costs him the Camaro and nearly his life, until Nick intercedes for him; Daniels reaches an understanding with Carver before placing him on the detail; with the help of Bubbles, McNulty delivers Omar to Nathan, who's less than thrilled with her star witness; with Lester transferred to the detail, Daniels gets things moving by sending Herc, Carver, and Greggs out for some hand-to-hands; saddled with Cole, Bunk and Russell end up empty-handed after they haul Sobotka's crew before the grand jury; Russell reaches out to her checker ex-boyfriend and gets information that Sobotka manages to explain away; Nick's dream of home ownership is dashed when Elena, the listing agent for his aunt's house, makes it clear he's priced out of the market; Dee gets a visit from Terrell and Donette, warning her that it's just about business and not to be too impressed with the family love line she's being handed, news that doesn't sit well with Stringer; Bodie has personnel problems in the pit; Valchek lifts a print from the latest picture of the van, which has made its way to San Diego; Stringer gets some advice from his business professor on his supply problem which he passes along to the crew; after The Greek refuses to meet with Sobotka, he calls their deal off, but changes his mind when they triple his fee for each can; McNulty goes to the feds for information on the pross operation but comes away empty-handed when the women refuse to give up what they know without a deal on the table; Ziggy and Nick go surfing and discover that chemicals the Greeks have ordered are used to process coca leaves into cocaine; Daniels agrees to share information with Bunk and Russell, but won't take the bodies without a suspect.moreless

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SUBMIT REVIEW
  • Another very good installment. The Wire excels at meticulously putting all the dominoes in place. The payoff when they start toppling will be well worth it. In the meantime, enjoy the build-up...moreless

    9.2
    Ziggy's woes continue, with him owing money to a dealer who threatens his life and burns his prized car- I'm sure he will play an important role this season, or the writers wouldn't be spending so much time on him, but for some reason, I am really bored with Ziggy's storyline. I'll be happy when the detail finally flips him to make their case (which I'm sure is what will happen), so that he will be out of my life. The rest of the episode continues to set up the storylines for the season: Bunk and Russell haul some of Sobotka's men before a grand jury, but get nothing; Valchek begins his own investigation of the theft of the surveillance van; Carver joins the detail; McNulty finds Omar, who agrees to testify against Bird; McNulty also continues his pursuit of the identity of the murdered girl; Dee's breaking ranks worries Stringer and Avon; the Greeks offer Sobotka financial compensation for the extra heat he is getting; and Nick and Ziggy agree to get the chemicals for the Greeks after finding out that they are not used to make bombs, but to process cocaine. A very good episode- not a lot of action, but that's never been what this series is about. They earn every audience reaction the old-fashioned way, eschewing cheap shock tactics in favor of classic storytelling, populated by characters we actually get to know and care about, so that when something happens to them, we are moved.moreless
Wendell Pierce

Wendell Pierce

Det. William "Bunk" Moreland

Paul Ben-Victor

Paul Ben-Victor

Spiros "Vondas" Vondopoulos

Wood Harris

Wood Harris

Avon Barksdale

John Doman

John Doman

Col. William A. Rawls

Amy Ryan

Amy Ryan

Off. Beatrice "Beadie" Russell

Lance Reddick

Lance Reddick

Lt. Cedric Daniels

Kristin Proctor

Kristin Proctor

Aimee

Guest Star

Lance Irwin

Lance Irwin

Maui

Guest Star

Susan Rome

Susan Rome

Asst. State's Attorney Ilene Nathan

Guest Star

Seth Gilliam

Seth Gilliam

Sgt. Ellis Carver

Recurring Role

Domenick Lombardozzi

Domenick Lombardozzi

Det. Thomas R. "Herc" Hauk

Recurring Role

Jim True-Frost

Jim True-Frost

Det. Roland "Prez" Pryzbylewski

Recurring Role

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions

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  • TRIVIA (0)

  • QUOTES (11)

    • Nick Sobotka: We got ships coming in today Uncle Frank, the writing's on the wall.
      Frank Sobotka: Fuck the wall.

    • (to Kima, about Herc)
      Carver: One more time with that toothpick and I'll stab him in the fucking eye with it.

    • (about Sobotka)
      Lester: So you're thinkin' drugs?
      Herc: In this town, what else is there?

    • (giving Bubbles money)
      McNulty: Here, as always... cab fare.

    • Bubbles: What's that?
      McNulty: A Baltimore knot.
      Bubbles: Baltimore knot? How you do that?
      McNulty: I don't know but it's never the same thing twice.

    • McNulty: He play you hard?
      Bubbles: I go at him respectable. He put that goddamn shotgun in my face, man. I'm looking at two goddamn tubes of the Harbor Tunnel staring right at me. (McNulty laughs) Each one about yea-big. I damn near piss my pants.

    • Freamon: Colonel, respectfully, did you just fuck me over without giving me half a chance to clear this case?
      Rawls: Let's be clear, Det. Freamon. When I fuck you over, you'll know it. You'll be so goddamn certain, you won't need to ask that question.

    • Kima: Cool Lester Smooth... hey, what's happenin'?
      Freamon: Same fuck-ups in the same shit detail, workin' out of the same shithouse kind of office. You people lack personal growth, you know that?

    • McNulty: It's a look.
      Omar: Naw, it ain't.
      McNulty: Here, you figure it out for yourself. I'm going across the street to the Federal Building. I'll see you in about a half hour.
      Omar: Hey look, man, if I ain't here, I'm round the way on Howard Street, Lydell's. Either that, or I'll be with Muffy at the club.

    • (after the Stewedores' Union members testified in front of the Grand Jury)
      Bunk: How'd we do, Charlie?
      Charlie: I almost got one to swear that the docks are actually near the water.

    • Sobotka: What do you say, Johnny? What do you say to any question?
      Johnny Fifty: I take the Fifth Commandment.

  • NOTES (3)

  • ALLUSIONS (0)

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